MAPOR 2010 round-up


This year’s MAPOR conference was a little smaller than it’s been in years past, but it may have been the best and most intellectually cohesive of the half-dozen I’ve attended. Whereas recent years tended to have fairly broadly interpreted panel themes in order to get all the papers in, the panels I attended this year were often tightly focused on problems dealing with agenda-setting, knowledge acquisition, misinformation and the effects of news content on attitude formation. This was particularly excellent for me, because I’ve been working on a comprehensive model of information flow and partisan agenda-building in the mass media. The two days were kind of like an extended seminar or research group meeting, and it was reminiscent of the really insightful times I had in grad school.

The papers that really stuck out for me include:

  • Dennis K. David (Penn State) & Kurt Kent (Florida), “Improving News Coverage of Polls: An Application of Framing Journalism”
  • Cecilie Gaziano (Research Solutions, Inc.), “Why Can’t a Conservative Be More Like a Liberal, or Vice Versa? Ideology, Knowledge Gaps, and Belief Gaps”
  • Brian Weeks (Ohio State), “The Roles of Personal Relevance and Medium in Understanding Belief and Transmission of Rumors in the News”

Since MAPOR runs four concurrent sessions, there were a lot of great-looking papers I didn’t get a chance to check out but hopefully will get a chance to look at eventually.

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